China's legislature is scheduled to vote Sunday on a new antiterrorism law that has drawn criticism from the U.S. government on concerns it could give Chinese authorities surveillance access to users of American technologies.
The Standing Committee of the National People's Congress will meet to vote on the antiterrorism law along with other resolutions, according to a schedule posted on the legislature's website. The first draft of the law, published last year, requires phone companies and Internet providers to submit encryption keys, the pass codes that help protect data, to Chinese authorities, and keep equipment and local user data inside China.
President Obama said in a March interview with Reuters that such requirements would let China install "back doors" in U.S. technology companies' systems, and the Asian nation will "have to change" such provisions to be able to do business with the U.S.
Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Hong Lei defended the law Wednesday, calling related clauses "completely reasonable" and dismissing concerns about privacy and intellectual property rights. He also cited similar requirements in U.S. laws that ask companies to provide technical assistance to investigators, and urged the U.S. to refrain from using "double standards."